Shizo Kanakuri disappeared while running the marathon in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm. He was listed as a missing person in Sweden for 50 years — until a journalist found him living quietly in southern Japan. Exhausted by the heat, he had paused at a spectator’s garden party to drink some orange juice and ended up staying for an hour. He ended up taking a train to a hotel, and sailed for Japan the next day, too ashamed to tell anyone he was returning.
There’s a happy ending: In 1966 Kanakuri returned to Stockholm and completed his run. His final time was 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 8 hours, 32 minutes and 20.3 seconds — a record I doubt anyone is interested in challenging.
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